African People’s Socialist Party 14-Point Platform
African People’s Socialist Party 14-Point Platform
The 14-Point Working Platform of the African People’s Socialist Party, “What we want – What
we believe” was adopted at the First Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party,
September 6, 1981, nine years after the Party’s founding.
The Party’s Platform, which appears in every issue of The Burning Spear newspaper, provides a
basic, on-the-ground understanding of the Party’s theory of African Internationalism as it
applies to the practical conditions facing African workers inside the U.S. and around the world.
By studying the 14 points of the Platform, every Party member and cadre is equipped to
determine the Party’s position on almost every issue that plagues African people everywhere.
A thorough knowledge of the 14 points enables us to communicate the Party’s line to groups
and individuals in presentations and street organizing or in leaflets and positions papers.
The 14 points are the most basic and effective political education course for all who want to
understand the theory and practice of African Internationalism and take action in the organized
movement to liberate Africa and African people everywhere.
This study is for everyone: contacts, mass organization members and rank and file Party
organizers, as well as for our allies fighting for national liberation or standing in solidarity with
our struggle for African liberation.
The study and review of the 14 points is essential for all veterans and leaders of the Party and
always produces many new understandings and political clarity.
The African People’s Socialist Party urges every leader, cadre and rank and file member to
memorize the 14-Point Platform, internalize its understandings and use it daily as we organize
thousands and thousands of Africans to take up the struggle to liberate our Africa and our
Point 1: We want peace, dignity and the right to build a prosperous life through
our own labor and in our own interests.
We believe that the U.S. North American government and society were founded on the
genocide of the Native people, the theft of their land and the forcible dispersal, enslavement
and colonization of millions of African people.
We believe that the present condition of existence for African people within current U.S.
borders is colonialism, a condition of existence where a whole people is oppressively
dominated by a foreign and alien state power for the purpose of economic exploitation and
political advantage. We believe further that this colonial domination is the primary basis of
the problems of African people within the U.S. and that we shall know neither peace,
prosperity, nor human dignity until this colonialist domination is overthrown and the power
over our lives rests in our own hands.
Point 2: We want the rights to economic development and creative and
productive employment which promote the needs and well-being of our entire
We believe that colonialism is a blood-sucking system which causes all economic development
to benefit the colonialist ruling class state and society at the expense of our colonized people.
We also believe that the massive, habitual unemployment and underemployment of our people
benefit the U.S. colonialist ruling class and capitalist system and that a struggle by African
people for jobs must be combined with a struggle for socialism and independent economic
Point 3: We want an end to all local, state, federal and other taxation of black
people by the U.S. government and any of its agencies.
We believe that such taxation is illegitimate, that black people have no real or meaningful
authority within the U.S. government, and that U.S. taxation of African people is therefore
taxation without representation.
We believe that in the absence of such real or meaningful authority we have nothing to say about
how such monies are used, and that therefore the taxes taken from black people are often used
against us and other oppressed and exploited people within the U.S. and around the world.
We believe that the use of taxes extracted from the African population to build more prisons to
stuff us in and to hire more police to kill us with is criminal, as is the use of these taxes to hire
soldiers to intimidate and plunder peoples oppressed by the same system internationally.
We also believe African people must refuse to pay taxes to a government which uses such taxes
to prop up and support brutal dictators around the world who keep their own peoples oppressed
and living in squalor in order to maintain U.S. and western imperialist economic and political
Point 4: We want the right to free speech and political association, a guarantee
of the right to work for the betterment and emancipation of black people
without fear of political imprisonment and the loss of life, limb and livelihood.
We believe that the liberation of African people throughout the world will come primarily as a
result of our own efforts. We believe it is our duty to our mothers and fathers, our children and
ourselves to organize ourselves to overcome our oppression.
We believe that the rights to organize and speak out against our oppression are basic human
rights and that the U.S. government must discontinue its attempts to smash these rights and
must discontinue criminal attacks on those African patriots who work for the betterment and
emancipation of our people.
Point 5: We want the right to international political and economic association
with Africans and all other peoples anywhere on the face of the Earth.
We believe that all black people are African people and are a part of a single national entity. We
believe that the genuine freedom of African people everywhere is irreversibly linked to the
creation of an independent, united and socialist Africa.
We believe the struggle of African people within the U.S. represents the U.S. front of the
worldwide movement of African people for African liberation, political independence and
We believe that the worldwide struggle for African liberation is in unity with the struggles being
waged by the majority of the peoples of the world to end the oppression of nations by nations
and to create a new world, within which the toiling masses will end the system of workers and
bosses and slaves and masters and will own and benefit from the means and products of our
labor and will have political authority over our own lives.
We believe that the natural, objective friends of our struggle for African liberation,
independence and socialist democracy are all the toiling masses of the world—the people of
the Middle East, the Asian and Latin American peasants and workers, the democratic forces
throughout Eastern and Western Europe and the U.S. and the truly socialist states of the world,
and that we must therefore have the absolute right to free political and economic international
Point 6: We want the immediate and unconditional release of all black people
who are presently locked down in U.S. prisons.
We believe that all the African men and women who are locked down in the U.S. concentration
camps commonly known as prisons are there due to decisions, laws and circumstances which
were created by aliens and foreigners for their own benefit and as a means of genocidal
We believe that these decisions, laws and circumstances were created and are enforced
without our consent and are therefore illegitimate.
We believe that the African men and women who are locked down in these concentration
camps are victims of U.S. colonialist ruling class justice which maintains our enslavement and
terrorizes our people, and that they should therefore be released immediately to the just
representatives of our struggle for liberation, independence and socialist democracy.
Point 7: We want complete amnesty for all African political prisoners and
prisoners of war from U.S. prisons or their immediate release to any friendly
country, which will accept them and give them political asylum.
We believe that U.S. prisons are also used as the illegitimate tool for torturing, murdering and
holding captive those courageous daughters and sons of Africa who through their patriotic
deeds or spoken or written words in support of the cause of our liberation have become
political prisoners and prisoners of war.
We believe, along with the majority of the peoples of the world, that it is the duty of the
colonized and enslaved to resist slavery and colonialism and to fight for socialism and those
who do so are patriots and heroines and heroes and should be held in the highest esteem.
Point 8: We want the immediate withdrawal of the U.S. police from our
oppressed and exploited communities.
We believe that the various U.S. police agencies which occupy our communities are arms of the
U.S. colonialist state which is responsible for keeping our people enslaved and terrorized.
We believe that the U.S. police agencies do not serve us, but instead represent the first line of
U.S. defense against the just struggle of our people for peace, dignity and socialist democracy.
Therefore, we believe the U.S. police is an illegitimate standing army, a colonial army in the
African community and must withdraw immediately from our community to be replaced by our
liberation forces whose struggles in defense of our community and against our oppression
demonstrate their loyalty and their willingness to serve in its interest.
Point 9: We want an end to the political and social oppression and economic
exploitation of African women.
We believe in the absolute, unequivocal, political, social and economic equality of African
women and men. We believe that a fundamental test of the progressive or revolutionary
character of any organization, party, movement or society is its commitment, confirmed in
practice to the destruction of the special oppression of women and the elevation of women to
the rightful place as equal partners and leaders in the forward motion of the development of
human society and as leaders, makers and shapers of human history.
Point 10: We want the right to build an African People’s Liberation Army.
We believe that true freedom, although often taken away, cannot be given to a people. We
believe that African people are our own liberators, and that we have a right and obligation to
build an African People’s Liberation Army to defend our political gains, our freedom fighters
and communities, and to win our actual freedom from our oppressive slave masters.
We believe that neither meaningful freedom nor guaranteed political and social gains, nor
genuine liberation are possible without the assuring existence of an African People’s
Liberation Army. We believe further that the only legitimate wars are wars of national
liberation and wars to oppose imperialist aggression, and that therefore the only legitimate
military forces for black people to serve with are military forces which defend liberty and repel
imperialist aggression. Such a force would be the African People’s Liberation Army.
Point 11: We want the U.S. and the international European ruling class and
states to pay Africa and African people for the centuries of genocide,
oppression, and enslavement of our people.
We believe that U.S. and European civilization were born from, and are presently maintained
by, the horrendous theft of human and material resources from Africa and its people.
We also believe that this theft of human and material resources is responsible for the present
underpopulation and underdevelopment of Africa and her people and the political servitude,
material impoverishment, and cultural discontinuity and disintegration of African people
throughout the world. We believe that Africa and African people are due reparations, just
economic compensation, billions of dollars which must be paid to the Organization of African
Unity or any other legitimate international organization of African people, for equitable
distribution for the development of Africa. We also believe that reparations must be distributed
to the various independent African states dispersed throughout the world, and to the
legitimate representatives of African people forcibly dispersed throughout the world who have
not yet won liberation.
Point 12: We want an end to the vicious, self-serving U.S. and Western
European political, economic, and military interference in the affairs of Africa
and African people throughout the world.
We believe that African people in Africa and elsewhere have a right and responsibility to solve
our own problems, free from the unwanted, and self- serving interference of U.S. and Western
imperialists. We believe that the U.S. and Western imperialist interference in the affairs of our
people is designed to maintain the continuation of the theft of our human and material
resources and our oppression and impoverishment.
We believe that African people must be free to organize and struggle for an end to colonialism
and neo-colonialism without interference from U.S. and Western imperialism which supports
neo-colonialism and colonialism in Africa, the U.S. and elsewhere, and which has deposed
progressive and revolutionary African leaders and replaced them with neo-colonialist stooges.
Point 13: We want an end to U.S. colonial domination of African people within
We believe that the primary struggle of African people within the U.S. during this period is to
throw off the alien U.S. colonial domination which is responsible for virtually every hardship
imposed on black people by this government that is identifiable as a “black problem.”
We believe that our problems with education — from our inability to control our own schools
and determine the education of our own children, to the inferior and racist quality of the
education we do receive — are caused by colonialism.
We believe that our problems with health care — from the absence of black controlled and
operated health clinics and institutions throughout our communities to the hazardous health
conditions imposed on us by poverty and callous government decisions — are caused by
We believe that our problems with housing — from the unavailability of decent and adequate
housing for the majority of our people, to the dilapidated and vermin-infested housing we are
forced to live in — are caused by colonialism.
We believe that our problems with food and clothing — from the terrible quality and quantity
which are imposed on us by blood-sucking merchants, to our inability to produce and distribute
them for and among ourselves — are caused by colonialism, where our whole people is
dominated and oppressed by a foreign and alien state power for the purpose of economic
exploitation and political advantage.
Point 14: We want the total liberation and unification of Africa under an all-
African socialist government.
We believe that “the total liberation and unification of Africa under an All-African socialist
government must be the primary objective of all Black revolutionaries throughout the world. It
is an objective which, when achieved, will bring about the fulfillment of the aspirations of
Africans and people of African descent everywhere. It will at the same time advance the
triumph of the international socialist revolution, and the onward progress toward communism,
under which every society is ordered on the principle of — from each according to his (her)
ability, to each according to his (her) needs.”— Kwame Nkrumah
The African People's Socialist Party